Software photographs employees every 5 minutes to ensure they’re working


In our current work-from-home era, many employers are searching for inventive methods to keep productivity up.

One growing solution, an always-on group video chat tool called “Sneek,” is dividing people for its unconventional method of ensuring employee engagement from afar.

The service allows employees to easily see their teammates presented neatly in a “wall of faces” — a grid-style chat displaying the faces of every member of the team — and instantly start video chats with a single click on a coworker’s picture, no calendar invite required.

The grid keeps itself updated by snapping photos of each participant at pre-determined intervals between one and five minutes long. Users can also choose to manually update their photos, employer permitting.

The motivation behind Sneek, which was founded in 2016, was to help build or maintain a “connected office dynamic” for remote workers, cofounder Del Currie told Business Insider.

Still, amid the app’s growing usage in the face of the coronavirus pandemic (which was first reported by the Information), the idea of always being monitored by employers via webcam isn’t sitting well with some people, including Danish programmer David Heinemeier Hansson, who tweeted that the concept “makes my skin crawl.”

Many users seemed to agree with Hansson’s open disdain for the worker monitoring tool.

“If you don’t trust your employees to be productive, why did you hire them?” wrote one user.

“Treat adults like adults,” said another. “It’s not that hard.”

However, a few customers who had firsthand experience with the software chimed in to share their own success stories.

“Sneek is awesome,” one man said. “We use it internally, it’s much better than Zoom for small teams.”

“Its intended use to see if someone is at their desk and thus available to talk. Much like a knife’s intended use is to cut/chop food,” said another. “If some corporation uses it differently, that is a culture/morality problem, not a feature problem.”

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